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This technical paper reviews the knowledge accumulated in reservoirs in three very different tropical systems: northern India and Pakistan in the Indus and Ganges systems, Lake Nasser in the Nile River Basin and Lake Volta in the Volta River Basin. Data and information on hydrological, biophysical and limnological features, primary production, fish and fisheries were compiled from grey and published literature providing a baseline against which to describe and analyze the ecological changes that have taken place since impoundment. It discusses changes in fish catch in relation to climatic variations, ecological succession and fishing effort and proposes what next steps should be in order to develop indicators describing the different ecological and economic processes influencing fisheries catches and to organize monitoring systems around those indicators.